8 Ways To Make Money In No Man’s Sky

Having trouble making money in No Man's Sky? Try this handful of tips to help you along! Here you will find some of the most tried and true methods of reliably generating both Units and Nanites that can help you make ends meet from the start.

8 Ways To Get Rich In No Man's Sky

Hello there, Traveller! Are you struggling to save up for that exotic ship you’ve had your eye on? Perhaps you need some of those shiny S-Class upgrade modules, and just don’t have enough nanites? Whether you’re a new player picking up the game after the Origins update, or you’ve been playing for a while, one thing you always need in No Man’s Sky (besides more ferrite dust) is money. Much like real life, there isn’t much you can do without it, so I’ve put together a money guide on some of the techniques you can use to gather as much of it as quickly as possible. 

For a brief explanation on the currencies available in No Man’s Sky, there are 3 types.

  1. The most common, and easiest to get, is Units. Units are a general currency used for most trading interactions, from buying ships to resources and certain types of upgrades.
  2. The next type of currency is Nanites – this is a more specialized currency, and you’ll be earning much smaller amounts of this. Typically, Nanites are used to purchase upgrade modules and certain cosmetic items. 
  3. The third and final currency is Quicksilver. This currency can only be obtained from doing missions found aboard the Anomaly, and there is currently no other way to farm it than to simply grind those missions. I will not be covering this currency in this article.

1) Albumen Pearls – Units

A clutch of humming sacs waiting to be harvested - where you find one, there are usually more nearby

A clutch of humming sacs waiting to be harvested – where you find one, there are usually more nearby

One of the easiest ways to gather Units, and also one of the safest, is to find a cave system containing Humming Sacs. Upon opening the sac, you will find an Albumen Pearl, which is a strange and valuable object.

The easiest way to find these is to simply keep your eyes peeled as you traverse whichever planet it is you’re on at the moment. The yellow diamond icon should appear, usually below the ground, indicating the presence of a valuable object. If you can’t find an entrance, use your terrain manipulator to burrow down into the ground and claim your prize. If the cave system is quite large, you can spend quite a bit of time exploring and gathering these shiny orbs and sell them for a premium.

2) Gravitino Balls – Units

I don't think the sentinels will notice if I take a few... (they did)

I don’t think the sentinels will notice if I take a few… (they did)

Gravitino balls are yet another shiny, strange object. While they aren’t quite as valuable as Albumen Pearls, they are a little easier to find – but not without risk.

The most reliable way I have found is to look for a planet with high sentinel activity – that is, when you scan the planet, the sentinel activity must appear in red. I don’t know why they are so protective over these things, but all that matters is even a new traveller can accumulate quite a bit of money by gathering them.

With aggressive sentinel planets, bear in mind that the sentinels will be alerted as soon as you pick up a gravitino ball. They will attack you on sight, so best you be quick in gathering your resources! As you run/jetpack away, use your scanner to see where the next clutch of gravitinos is. Usually, on these planets they are found everywhere on the surface. 

The sentinels aren’t that hard to run away from, especially if you have a couple upgrades installed for your jetpack. As long as you keep moving, you probably won’t die.

When you’re ready to leave the planet, wait for the sentinels to stop their search on the surface – if you leave, they will dispatch starships which are much harder to shake than their surface-dwelling counterparts.

3) Chlorine Expansion – Units

Oxygen + Chlorine = Profit

Oxygen + Chlorine = Profit

Once you have access to a medium refiner or 3, if you can get your hands on some chlorine (refine it from salt, mine it or buy it) and some oxygen, you can combine the 2 elements to make even more chlorine. 1 chlorine and 2 oxygens make a total of 6 chlorine, and you can sell it all for a premium. You can generate tens of millions this way.

Be sure to find a system where chlorine is stocked at the trade terminal. Selling a huge amount of a particular item will crash the market. That way you can buy it all back for much less than you sold it for, rinse and repeat at the next system. Of course, you can also just keep a stack of chlorine and repeat the expansion process once you’ve bought up a bunch more oxygen.

4) Ancient Bones – Units

Unearthing a particularly valuable fossil

Unearthing a particularly valuable fossil

On certain planets planets, you will find these items buried underneath the terrain. The selling price for these vary, and can range from 80,000 up to 2 million units!

There is naturally a catch – these items are not stackable, so be sure to make use of your freighter when farming these burial sites. Not only that, the planets on which ancient bones are found tend to be rather inhospitable, so it will also help if you upgrade your environmental protection modules.

How do you find these planets, you might be wondering? The easiest way is to head to the Anomaly and pick up a mission collecting ancient bones. Once you complete a mission, you can exit back to that system and collect bones to your heart’s content. That said, doing the missions will also reward you with some form of currency, so if you’re lucky enough to get a few in a row, it sweetens the pot.


5) Salvaged Data – Units/Nanites

You will want to pick up salvage data at every opportunity

You will want to pick up salvage data at every opportunity

You can find salvaged data on almost any planet, and you’ll want to collect it anyway since you’ll need it to buy tech blueprints on the Anomaly.

A bit like ancient bones, you can find these items buried underground. They can be sold for around 50,000 units each, or refined into 15 nanites apiece. This is a lot safer than larval cores, but much less efficient.

6) Larval Cores – Units/Nanites

I seem to have upset the locals

I seem to have upset the locals

Larval cores are found inside whispering eggs. On most inhabitable planets, they can be found around abandoned buildings. The catch? Harvesting larval cores spawns biological horrors from beneath the earth. These monstrosities are dangerous and can quickly kill even experienced players. 

Fortunately, abandoned buildings aren’t the only place you can find whispering eggs. If you find a dead planet, one with no life or atmosphere, you’ll find whispering eggs all over the surface. 

The nice thing about farming larval cores on airless worlds is, firstly, they’re spaced out so you can run away from the biological horrors with relative ease. The low gravity also makes it really fun to do, since you can cover a lot of ground. 

That bloody looking orb you see rolling away? That's what I'm here for

That bloody looking orb you see rolling away? That’s what I’m here for

If you have not learned this technique, the dash-boost is executed by sprinting, hitting your melee button and quickly following that up with the jetpack. The forward momentum combined with the boost from your jetpack will help you cover a lot more ground, and is useful even with regular gravity. Just be careful not to go too high, or at least save a little juice for a soft landing. You can still die from fall damage on airless worlds.

Larval cores sell for around 100,000 units each, but can also be refined for 50 nanites apiece. This makes them one of the best resources to collect if you want to make some money.

7) Desolate Freighters – Units/Nanites

If you're brave enough, derelicts are filled with opportunity

If you’re brave enough, derelicts are filled with opportunity

In the Desolation update a few months ago, these derelict freighters were added in interplanetary space and are a mixed bag in terms of what you will find aboard. Try to offload as much of your inventory as you can, because you will find a whole range of things from valuable items, to upgrade modules, and even containers with straight-up units or nanites.

For the most part, finding a derelict requires some capital to the tune of 5 million units. Once you have that much money, head to your local space station and buy an Emergency Broadcast Locator from the scrap dealer, found near the upgrade merchants. The game will tell you how to do the rest. Otherwise, once a week you can head to the Anomaly and receive a free EBL from Iteration Helios.

The gameplay aboard these derelicts is decidedly survival/horror flavored, so make sure you have a bunch of ammo and some hazard protection installed. A decently upgraded boltcaster will take care of any undesirables found within.

If you’re feeling lazy, you can always try this method to farm Nanites I found to using living slime, which can be refined into runaway mould, and from there into nanites. On that note:

8) Broken Machinery – Nanites

It's the little things that add up

It’s the little things that add up

You can find broken machinery on just about every planet, and usually you’ll find either residual goop or viscous fluids (both junk items) inside. Upon removing the offending substance, the machinery usually spits out a few nanites. 

While you shouldn’t pass these broken machines as a direct source of nanites, you should also keep any viscous fluids or residual goop, as this can be refined up into living slime. As I said a little earlier, you can refine that up to nanites.

This is more of a slow burn, and I’m mentioning it because I deleted many thousands of these junk items before figuring out that they could have been turned into nanites.


No Man’s Sky is a vast game, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to gathering funds. There are probably many more ways to reliably accumulate money, so if you know of any, feel free to leave a comment and help your fellow travellers! 

No Man's Sky Origins Launch Trailer


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    As far as the whispering eggs near abandoned buildings are concerned, if you use the terrain manipulator to drill a hole under the eggs and stand down in the hole, when you shoot the eggs they will drop down into the hole with you. You are usually safe from the creatures that spawn. Make sure to collect the eggs right away because they only last a few seconds before they despawn. One you collect all of the eggs from a cluster, jetpack out of the hole and straight to the top of the building. Wait on the top of the building until the swarm subsides. Save your game after each cluster because the creatures will sometimes still be able to attack you within the hole. They can also sometimes aggressively push you out of the hole or move you as you are trying to pick up the egg.

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    A couple of more ways to earn more cash
    1. Raid a few manufacturing facility, solve the puzzle and learn new recipes. Those final recipes, when learnt, sell at very high price in the market
    2. Freighter missions are steady way to earn money. Save a freighter from pirates, and buy it for free. Then keep adding new frigates to your fleet, each cost around a couple to few million units. Send frigates ti mission regularly, they fetch available minerals and units
    3. Fight pirates if encountered. They usually drop valuable resources, which you can use to craft even more valuable stuff, or sell in market as such
    4. Go to monolith, seek help with history, and it’ll guide you to a burial site. Collect 3 keys, and open the treasure, which will generally contain a valuable item. And there are a few gravitino balls there as well
    5. Few items, like storm crystal (found in extreme weather planet), crystal sulphide (found under oceans) sell for good money
    6. Go to ocean planet, build Nautilon (the submersible), install high range sonar, and then search crashed ships. Add them to collection, go to freighter, fix their basic systems to fly. Take it to space station, and scrap the ship. Even a broken ship would earn good money

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    Scraping crashed ships is a good way to bring in nanites and money. Also dont forget to scan everything, if you wait and dont upload your Scanned discoveries you can make a nice little nest egg of nanites over time for a rainy day.

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      Thanks for mentioning those, upgrading your scanner also gives you a boat load of units for scanning stuff! Kinda forgot to mention that!

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      I have two ships, but I can’t call my second one to the station to scrap it. It says “ship can’t land here.” I have no idea now to scrap it except on the station.

      I adore this game. See you beyond the stars. 😉

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        You can only scrap one ship at a time, and you have to keep one ship for use, so if your second ship is your final one then it won’t be able to be scrapped. Buy a cheap one from that space station npc ships and see if it lets you scrap that. Otherwise you may need to teleport to your freighter or base and fly your other ship to the station, off chance its a glitch.

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        As far as I am aware, you do have to fly the ship you intend to scrap into the station as you have said. It would be nice if there was a ship menu on the station that let you change ships without having to return to your freighter, perhaps it’s something HG could add at some point.

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        You’ll have to fly the ship you want to scrap to the station – you can do this by summoning your freighter nearby and collecting it from there if you haven’t fixed the pulse drive.
        Once you scrap it, your other ship will automatically spawn on one of the landing pads in the station, and voila! You’re now a bit richer!

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        Alas, I am freighterless at the moment (and I don’t yet have a teleporter, which I should really get on.) Ireally just started…less than 10 hours into the game, and I want to scrap the fighter I bought on impulse. It seems odd to me that I can’t summon my shuttle to the space station to do so.

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        If you have a base teleporter, switch to the scrap ship you want to scrap by getting in then out. Use the teleporter to get to the space station. The rest should be obvious.

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